March 2014 Update

Here in Kentucky the grip of winter seems to have broken.  Just here in the last week we’ve seen the temperature hit close to 80 degrees.  Believe me, it was welcome.  It’s been a long, long winter.  I don’t recall a harsher one in recent memory, and I’ve heard a lot of people compare it to the deep freeze of ’77.  I remember that because the schools closed around here because the temps hovered around twenty below for a few days.  Thankfully we haven’t seen anything of that magnitude this year, but it’s a reminder that things can always be worse.

The audiobook version of The Killing Vision is in the can, and it should be up for sale at Audible, iTunes, and Amazon within a couple of weeks.  It’s been an amazing journey, and working with voice personality J. LaLonde has been a dream.  I’ve had a chance to listen to the whole book, and J. brings a vibrancy to my prose that I couldn’t have imagined.  Watch for more information here, and I’ll announce the release as soon as it happens.  In other audiobook news, actor/voiceover artist Gary Tiedemann has signed on to read the audiobook version of The Island.  We’re shooting for a late spring release for this one, and I’ll keep everyone posted as the production moves forward.

I’m starting to see the end of the tunnel on Moon Shadow, and I expect to finish it within the coming week.  Kit Foster will again design the cover, and he’s already got me on his schedule for the first week of April.  I’m really excited about this one, and I can’t wait to release it.  I have really enjoyed working on this book, but it has taken me six months to complete, which is almost three times as long as I had anticipated.  For one thing the characters took on a depth I hadn’t expected, which is always a good thing.  For another, the story hit an unexpected twist and I was forced to look at the book from a different perspective.  I love when a novel takes on a life of its own, but I have to admit, this one has really worn me out.  I will be glad to start working on something new.

As of right now, that something new looks to be the sequel to The Killing Vision.  The working title for the moment is A Vision of Murder, but that may change as the story develops.  I’m still in the “gathering information” stage, which my long-suffering wife recognizes as “those times when I sit and brood.”  Anyone who has known a writer or artist personally will understand this.  It’s just part of our genetic makeup.  A writer spends a lot of energy digging things up from inside, and it’s exhausting.  I remember finishing up The Island last summer and spending a few days recovering because I just couldn’t think anymore and I felt I could sleep for days.  I don’t expect that level of exhaustion this time, but at least I’m prepared for it just in case.

I also have big news in my personal life.  We’re expecting our first grandchild in June!  We’re all very excited, but my wife and I can’t help feeling we’re still too young for this.  Does anyone ever feel old enough for grandkids?  Probably not.  But rest assured this will be one spoiled little girl when she arrives.  She’s already amassing an extensive wardrobe, and Granddad is looking forward to sharing books and stories.  It’s going to be a fun time!

Finally, you may have noticed a couple of changes to the website.  I’ve added a bookstore link where you can purchase my books directly from Amazon.  I’ll probably mess around with it a bit more to add more categories and functionality, but you get the idea.  And as you can see I’m sporting a new headshot for 2014 courtesy of my neighbor, photographer Josh Morgan.  I think Josh did a decent job of making me look cool.  Which is no easy task, believe me.

Until next month, Happy Reading!

November 2013 Update

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about perfection.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch wrote a wonderful blog post last year about how the pursuit of perfection can actually harm your writing.  Her husband, Dean Wesley Smith, also a great blogger on the business of writing, says (and I’ll paraphrase here) that you have to reach a point where you call the work finished and then stop caring about making it perfect.  Unless you are a writer, you probably don’t understand how difficult that is.  We’re taught from our earliest school days to strive for perfection.  Personally, I was never satisfied with myself in school unless I was making A’s.  B’s were like the ugly step-sister – good, but certainly only second-best.  C’s made me feel as though I was already failing, and anything below a C was just plain devastating.  College was the same, and I remember ripping open the envelope with my grades after my first semester at college, seeing all A’s, and bursting into tears in relief.

So going to a mindset where everything doesn’t have to be perfect is almost like telling me I can sprout wings and fly across town.  What if someone reads my story and finds a major flaw in the plot?  What if one of my characters says something in Chapter 2 and then completely contradicts herself in Chapter 10?  What if the sentence structure in that one paragraph on page 170 is stilted or awkward?  What if, what if, what if?

You know what?  The world’s not going to end.  I’ve had these fears lately about the newest book I’m about to unleash on my beta readers.  There was a lot of research involved, and naturally I’m afraid I’ve missed something.  If I have, hopefully my readers will catch it before it goes to final edits.  Even if they don’t, all I can do is remind myself that I wrote the best possible story I could at that point in time.  Then move on to the next book.  It’s a learning process.

You see, the time to care is when you’re writing.  When you’re creating story.  That’s when you have to do your best.  But caring about your story isn’t the same as trying to make it perfect.  It will never be perfect.  I look back on August  and Drum and think, sure there are phrases or details I could rework, or sections I could rewrite, but I won’t.  Because I’ve moved past those stories.  I did the best I could when I was writing them.  That’s all anyone can do.  Ten years from now I’ll look at The Island or The Killing Vision and think the same thing. Once the book is out, it’s finished.  No more rewriting.  Move forward.  Or as Dean says, stop caring.

In reality, that’s an incredibly hard thing to do.  It’s also a very freeing thing.  The pursuit of perfection can stifle your creativity.  It’s impossible to allow the creative side of your brain to take control if the critical side is constantly acting as overseer and second-guesser.  And if you can’t let go of a story you can’t go on to the next.  I’ve really worked on that all through 2013, and I have written more in the past twelve months than I have in the prior ten years.  Stopping the critical voice while I’m in creative mode, knowing when to stop finagling around with the plot or details and send the story out into the world – all of that has unleashed a tide of creative juices.  It’s been a great ride.

In book news, the illustrations are now finished for Brock Ford.  At least two of the paperbacks will be released before Christmas.  I’m eager for my readers to see these handsome drawings Brian Bowes has created.  I think you’ll agree, he has really brought these stories to life.  Stay tuned to the usual places – here, Facebook, and Twitter – for more info on release dates, etc.  Also, join the mailing list on my Contact page and be among the first to learn about my new books.

Thanks for stopping by.  See you next month.

 

October 2013 Update

I admit to being a little overwhelmed.

As of this writing over 6,000 free copies of my new novel The Island have been downloaded. That’s a lot of books!  It’s been enough to propel the book to the number 1 spot in both Occult Suspense and Occult Horror categories and number 45 overall in the Kindle Free store.  I don’t think I could have asked for better results than that!  Thanks to everyone who downloaded a copy during this free promo.  I plan on more freebies in the future, so watch the usual locations for more details.  If you’d like the chance to win a paperback copy of the book, head over to Goodreads and sign up for the giveaway there.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Island by Will Overby

The Island

by Will Overby

Giveaway ends November 01, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

I wrote the last word for The Devil’s Catacombs today, making it my third completed novel of 2013.  It still needs a lot of work, but while it’s mellowing like a fine wine, I’m getting ready to start the next book, Moon Shadow.  This is the novel, you may recall, that I began my senior year in high school, and it’s been almost 30 years since I visited with it.  My plan is to take the basic idea and modernize it, certainly rewrite most of it, and see what happens.  I’m really looking forward to working on this story again.  I fell in love with these characters back in 1983, and they’ve never left me.  It’s always bothered me that their story never was completed, and now I’m going to take the time to do just that.

I love this new modern world of indie publishing!  I follow several writing blogs, and the one recurring theme I see in all of them is that you must keep writing.  Never give up.  I admit to going through several years of being discouraged, a long haul in which I was trying my hardest to get discovered through traditional publishing routes.  During that time it seemed as though my creativity had all but dried up.  It’s easy to say “keep writing and don’t give up,” but it’s very different to actually do that when you’re getting absolutely no encouragement at all from the powers that be.  Now the only powers that be are you, the readers.  The writing process is a lonely one at times, and for the most part you are never sure your work is even being read, let alone appreciated. I am thankful for every review (good or bad), for every Twitter follower and Goodreads fan, for every email I get  because I that means someone is reading my drivel and mostly enjoying it.  And that, my friends, gives me all the encouragement I need to keep going.  To keep writing.  To keep putting those words – those pieces of myself – out there for all to see.

Thanks for the encouragement!  See you next month.